Response to Senator Blanche Lincoln Email
Saying She Supports Hate Crime Bill
Senator Lincoln, you said in your email that you support the hate crime bill.1 Are you aware that under the proposed hate crime bill an offender could be punished more severely for violent speech against a homosexual with the NAMBLA group (a group that actually encourages molesting children) than for violating an innocent child.2
According to FBI reports, there were only 6 murders related to hate crimes in 2005, but there are 2,000 children under 18 murdered every year.3 (You didn't mention, Senator Lincoln, that you co-sponsored the hate crime bill in 2001, are co-sponsor of the hate crime bill this year, voted to add sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes in 2000 and 2002, and voted against the federal marriage amendment in 2006.)4
Another 101,000 cases of child sexual abuse and 192,000 cases of child physical abuse are substantiated each year. The approximate number of juvenile crime victims known to police each year is 849,000.5 In fact, the homicide rate for children in the United States is five times higher than that for children in the other 25 industrialized countries combined.6
According to the FBI, the number of hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2005 were 5,190, and 48% of those were speech (threats, not actions.) That 5,190 figure pales in comparison to the 849,000 crimes (real child crimes - not just speech) against children each year.7 Yet, you support a bill that will federalize prosecution of about 5,190 hate crimes and give more protection to some individuals that are perpetrating those crimes against children than you do to our own children who are victimized at a rate of 849,000 a year!!! (I am sure you are aware that you received only a 16% rating on your voting record on family and children by the Christian Coalition.)8
Are you aware that the Democrats killed an amendment to the hate crime bill "to clarify that the printing, distribution, or public reading of the Bible is not prohibited by any of the provisions of the bill. How could you possibly support a bill that could punish a person for reading from the Bible? The amendment was by Rep. Weldon, Dave (FL) and was made in an attempt to protect religious freedom.)9
Just recently the US Ninth Circuit Court in California ruled that "traditional values" and "family values" could be considered hate speech and could be censored. And also, just recently, hundreds of students in California were suspended from school for wearing Bible verses on their shirts.10
Are you aware that Congressman Mike Pence from Indiana offered this important amendment on Freedom of Religion. “Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution.” And the Democrats would not accept that amendment either. Twenty-five amendments were offered in the Judiciary committee by Republicans, and ALL were rejected.11
I am sure you are aware that only one of our four Arkansas US Representatives voted for the hate crime bill in the House on May 3, 07, even though three of them are Democrats? Only Vic Snyder voted for it. Wouldn't that make you reconsider the issue to see if you are missing something?12
Are you aware that the state hate crime bill has been rejected by the Arkansas legislature nine times.13 Doesn't that tell you where people in Arkansas stand on this issue? Shouldn't you represent the views of your constituents that have been so loudly proclaimed? Ted Kennedy, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, has sponsored a hate crime bill six times, but Ted Kennedy represents the Democrats in Massachusetts not the Democrats in Arkansas.
According to FBI reports on hate crimes, "In about half of hate crimes, the victim was threatened verbally or assaulted without either a weapon or an injury being involved," In other words, the crimes were speech.14 Yet in your email you actually say, the hate crime bill "would amend the federal criminal code to allow for harsher penalties for violent crimes committed as an act of hate or prejudice against another person. This proposal pertains only to violent acts, not speech." Why would you attempt to deceive your constituents like that?
The hate crime bill also says the term `crime of violence' has the meaning given that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code; That code reads
The term “crime of violence” means—
(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.15 [Wonder how that risk will be determined - especially without considering speech.]
Those words in red font refer to speech not actions. Furthermore, the purpose of the law is to give harsher sentences to those who are judged (subjectively on thought and speech) to have hate or prejudice toward a certain class of people (race, religion, homosexuals, etc). Just what will the judge use to determine if the crime is a hate crime based on prejudice except through the offender's speech or writing (that is of course, unless the judge has the ability to read the mind and thoughts of the offender.)
How then can you, despite all this evidence, come to the conclusion that hate crime bill would "pertain only to violent acts, not speech?
Why, Senator Lincoln, would you support a bill that gives more punishment for violating one person than another when our Constitution is based on the premise that we are all created equal?. Hate crime laws violate the concept of equal protection under the law and give some crime victims' cases more priority and protection than others (because of federal assistance and because of harsher penalties) Just why would children, being the most innocent and vulnerable in our society, not deserve more protection than those named in the hate crime bill (race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability).
Senator Lincoln, you said in your letter, "I take seriously our country's commitment to ensuring the physical safety of all Americans which is why I support S. 1105." How seriously do you take protecting our children in our country and the groups that will become victims under the hate crime law? Why exalt some classes of people, like those named in the hate crime bill, over others? The Republicans submitted the following different amendments in the Rules committee one by one to include the following groups to the protected status in the hate crime law.16
But the Democrat squashed them all. Which of these groups, Senator Lincoln, do YOU think are less deserving of special protection than homosexuals?
You said in your letter, "I also strongly support the
ability of all Americans to practice their religious faith and express their
personal beliefs freely and would not support legislation that infringes on an
individual's ability to exercise his or her right to the
freedom of speech and religion under the Constitution." Are you not aware that hate crime laws in other countries have set a precedent, and people have gone to jail for preaching against homosexuality in Canada, Sweden, and Britain and that people in our own country have been jailed for witnessing to homosexuals? 17
Then how could you possibly support a bill that does not include these amendments, "to clarify that the printing, distribution, or public reading of the Bible is not prohibited by any of the provisions of the bill" and “Nothing in this section limits the religious freedom of any person or group under the constitution.”? As stated earlier, both of these amendments were killed by Democrats on the hate crime bill passed in the House? Is that not the proof that the bill will infringe on our rights to exercise our freedom of religion and speech?
I am sure you are aware that Arkansas is the only state in the South where both senators, you Senator Blanche Lincoln and Senator Mark Pryor, voted against the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage amendment even though an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a passed with 75 percent of the vote.18
Senator Lincoln, for reference, your your email is posted below the footnotes:
Women's Prayer and Action Group
1. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas - Text of hate crime bill S1105
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d110:27:./temp/~bdwgNU:@@@P|/bss/d110query.html| Lincoln co-sponsor of the bill.
http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/s1145commentary.html - text of similar hate crime bill with comments that explains what the various sections of the law really mean.
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAMBLA - Wikipedia article on North American Man/Boy Love Association.
3. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/pressrelease.htm - " Hate Crime Statistics 2005" - 5,190 hate crimes against persons.
4. http://ontheissues.org/Senate/Blanche_Lambert_Lincoln.htm#Civil_Rights -
Lincoln voted to expand definition to include sexual orientation. "Senator Blanche Lincoln on Civil Rights" by On The Issues.
5. http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/factsheet.html#3 - "Crimes Against Children Research Center Fact Sheet."
6. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00046149.htm - "Rate of Homicide – 26 Industrialized Countries."
7. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/pressrelease.htm - Hate Crime Statistics 2005 and http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/factsheet.html#3 "Crimes Against Children Research Center Fact Sheet "
8. See article in Footnote 4.
Library of Congress Thomas "Providing for Consideration of the Bill (H.R. 1592
Christian students with Bible messages on shirts booted"http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55498 - "
11. http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/apr/07042601.html - "Democrats Refuse Religious Freedom Amendment to Hate Crimes Bill".
12. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2007-299 -
Roll Call Votes: 110th Congress: House Vote #299 (May 3, 2007)
H.R. 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (Vote On Passage)
Summary of Good and Bad Bills, Arkansas Legislative Session 2007" and
FBI report on half of hate crimes being speech –
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/hcrvp.htm "Hate Crimes Reported by Victims and Police" (see 2nd bullet point)
15. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00000016----000-.html - Section 16, title 18, United States Code;
Criminalizing Christianity: Sweden's Hate Speech Law by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55348 Pastors, Act Now or Prepare for Jail. http://www.baptist2baptist.net/Issues/TenCommandments/MohlerAug052004.asp
18. http://ontheissues.org/Senate/Blanche_Lambert_Lincoln.htm#Civil_Rights – Blanche Lambert Lincoln on Civil Rights by On the Issues.
Email from Senator Blanche Lincoln May 10, 07
As you may know, S. 1105 would amend the federal criminal code to allow
for harsher penalties for violent crimes committed as an act of hate or
prejudice against another person. This proposal pertains only to violent
acts, not speech, and respects the traditional role of the state and local
law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct.
Specifically, the legislation authorizes federal prosecutions when a state
does not have jurisdiction or when a state asks the federal government to
take jurisdiction in a particular case. The bill establishes an
appropriate backup for state and local law enforcement to deal with hate
crimes in cases where states require assistance, or cases that would not
otherwise be effectively investigated and prosecuted. I believe that this
step toward better cooperation between federal, state, and local law
enforcement officers as well as Justice Department prosecutors and local
prosecutors will enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to
prevent and punish violent crimes.
I take seriously our country's commitment to ensuring the physical safety
of all Americans which is why I support S. 1105. I also strongly support
the ability of all Americans to practice their religious faith and express
their personal beliefs freely and would not support legislation that
infringes on an individual's ability to exercise his or her right to the
freedom of speech and religion under the Constitution.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I am proud to represent the citizens
of Arkansas in the U.S. Senate and hope you will not hesitate to let me
know whenever I may be of assistance to you in the future.
Blanche L. Lincoln